HAUNTED HOUSES AREN'T THIS MUCH FUN ANYMORE!
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 08/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"William Castle has been responsible for many fun horror films over the years and House on Haunted Hill is no exception. This is a great Halloween movie for young and old. It's stars Vincent Price and lots of creepy atmosphere(something that is missing from so many new horror films)and it is also lots of fun. Castle seemed to always make fun horror films with a couple of good scares despite very small budgets he made very effective ones too.
There are many releases for this film and the one I am reviewing is the 1999 release that has both widescreen and full screen versions of the film. The only extra is the trailer, but the trailer and the film are in very nice condition with clear picture and sound. If you are looking to add this film to your collection this is the way to go."
Great movie, amazing colorization
Thaylie | United States | 09/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like Vincent Price & this movie, 'nuff said on that. What I would like to cover is this particular edition of this movie. Not only does this disk include the original B/W version & a new colorized version, but it also has a bonus audio track from the creators of Rifftrax. This Rifftrax only features Mike Nelson.
The original B/W seems to be cleaned-up high quality version (I own another disk from another publisher that is very bad on both audio & visual quality). I'm very happy with this B/W movie.
The colorized version is absolutely amazing. I normally don't like colorized B/W movies (I'm one who watches a lot of old B/W movies), they look fake and it can really ruin the feel of the movie. Many colorizations seem to forget to colorize the inner mouth, so that when someone is talking, it just looks freaky and disturbing. They also seem to try too hard, it's as if they can't accept that a film is done in B/W and rather than compliment the film or simply enhance, they try to make it a bright, colorful, modern looking film. Not so on this disk(at least not that I noticed). When I played the colorized film, I couldn't believe the quality. If I hadn't known this was originally a B/W film, I don't think I could have ever guessed it. I was very impressed with the job these guys did on the film, both in cleaning up the B/W and also with the colorization.
The concept of Rifftrax is to basically make fun of movies, usually bad ones. I've seen some bad movies that are "riffed" and frankly, if it's truly a terrible movie, there is no amount of "riffing" that can make it worth watching. They just aren't funny. Usually the best riffing is done on something that is either so old people don't understand the acting or writing style (and hence can make fun of it), or it's on a movie that isn't all that bad. This is one of those not so bad movies that are just fun & relaxing to watch. The only problem with the riffing on this movie is that the banter between the three guys (Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, & Kevin Murphy) is missing as Mike is doing all the riffing. I found this to be jarring and not very interesting as I'm accustomed to hearing all 3, each lending his own take on the particular riff. It's a nice bonus and I'm happy it's on there, but it shouldn't be a primary reason for a purchase.
I'm very happy I bought this version of this movie. I believe they also did a colorized version of "Last Man on Earth" and I'm hoping this company does other movies as well."
A highly underated film that's actually an effective creepy
Channel KDK12 | New Orleans, LA | 09/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am continually frustrated by people who label William Castle as the King of Schlock. Although he was a showman (a virtue, in my book, that makes for some added fun and clever special effects), he was also a maker of interesting movies. House on Haunted Hill can be watched as yet another haunted house movie, but it has not only an engaging plot, it is a cautionary tale, like many of Castle's movies, with an interesting story to tell about the nature of sin.
The movie begins with exposition by millionaire Fredrick Loren [Vincent Price], who has invited 5 complete strangers to a haunted house for an all-night party. He has offered each 10,000 dollars if they can stand to spend the night in the house. As each arrives, Fredrick tells us their reason for accepting his invitation: one is a gambler with debts, another is returning to the scene of his brother's murder, a third is the sole breadwinner for her family and desperately needs the money; a fourth, a psychiatrist, claims it will help him understand hysteria, but Fredrick sees greed "around his eyes and mouth;" the fourth, ance [Richard Long] is also in desperate need of money. In short, three are there because of their sins, while two, Watson Pritchard [Elisha Cook, Jr.] and Nora, the typist [Carolyn Craig] have sinless motives. Fredrick and his wife are far from well-intentioned, either; Annabelle [Carol Omhert] is Fredrick's fourth wife, the others having disappeared or died under mysterious circumstances. Both would love to see the other dead. And Fredrick has the sin of pride about him, too, as he manipulates his guests' weaknesses.
Are there ghosts? Only Nora can see them. The others see enemies in their hosts and the other guests, a feeling reinforced by Fredrick giving each a small coffin containing a gun--a useless weapon against a ghost. Adding to their fear, they discover they are locked in behind a steel door and bars of stone.We expect the good to win and the sinful to lose, but House on Haunted Hill isn't so simple.
That's what makes it an enjoyable surprise, and a haunted house movie that's more than B-Schlock as it's so often painted.